Our Values and Principles

Responding to Needs

SHF is a needs-driven organization with a primary focus of targeting the most vulnerable groups — especially women, the elderly, and children. All of our work is based on respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and the rights that follow from this understanding.

Independence

SHF acts according to its own principles in order to maintain its moral and financial independence. SHF’s actions are not defined in terms of domestic or foreign policies, nor does the organization act in the interest of any government.

Respecting the environment

Being respectful of environments and communities goes hand in hand, as environmental problems impact people on a broad scale. SHF adopts environmentally-friendly solutions in its projects and programs, where every phase in the project/program life cycle is designed in an environmentally-conscious manner that seeks to minimize any environmental impact.

Transparency and accountability

In SHF we take transparency and accountability very seriously. SHF is committed to respecting a policy of transparency and disclosure for its beneficiaries, donors and partners by making available all information on the allocation and management of its funds, and by providing independent verification of its good management.

Sustainability

SHF is committed to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. By empowering staff members, our partners and the communities they serve, we believe that the benefits of our work will be enduring.

Cooperation and partnership

We respect the wishes and requirements of our staff members and partners – and the communities they serve – and we endeavor to create a shared voice, working together in a manner that enables us to achieve our shared goals and live our shared values.

Equity

SHF shares its own resources fairly and wants to see that the natural and intellectual wealth of communities is also distributed fairly, so that everyone is able to gain their share. We know that the success of development can be measured by how the least powerful people and the smallest minority groups are faring.

Ownership

In SHF we realize that sustainable development and social change can only take place when people assume the ownership of the work they do or take part in. As a consequence, SHF’s main operating philosophy is ‘’teaching people how to fish’’ rather than ‘’giving them fish’’, where the concept is that sustainable development does not succeed if the people simply have things given to them.

Stakeholder and community engagement

SHF’s community and stakeholder engagement policy requires our partners to develop transparent, constructive and inclusive relationships with their host communities. Each partner must complete a stakeholder assessment, covering all stakeholder circumstances, needs and concerns, as well as potential impacts, risks and opportunities. From this assessment, an engagement strategy is designed, which may include procedures for information sharing, consultation and collaboration.

Inclusivity

In SHF all people have a say, whether staff members, volunteers, or interns, are included and have a way to make their opinion heard. No one is silenced because of their ethnic group, because they are disabled, too old, too poor or because they are a woman. Sharaf Foundation has already started to turn this into action by involving the elderly in both its board and staff, where their expertise is being extensively used to support the Foundation in various working areas. SHF has also addressed the principle of inclusivity by looking at gender.

Our Gender Policy

In Sharaf Foundation, working out our own gender policy helps us providing better services to beneficiaries. For a long time, certain groups have been getting less attention in development projects than others. Women have been sold short; so have different ethnic minorities, people with physical disabilities, the elderly, among others. Meanwhile the groups with the highest profile and loudest voice get the most attention. Gender is a matter of principle. If people get what they need then the service is fairer, more ethical. And we cannot know what they need unless we understand their situation. Analyzing it from the perspective of gender is one way to understand, and a helpful way.

Our commitment to achieve gender equality therefore necessitates that our work and our organization engage, empower and benefit both women and men. We believe that creating our own gender policy, by providing a clear and consistent message on our gender equality commitment, will maximize project effectiveness, strengthen our organization, enhance project and program resources, improve coordination with internal and external stakeholders, and increase accountability. Sharaf Foundation is therefore not dominated by a higher class, or by one sex. We seek to achieve the policy’s objectives through actions focused on both our activities and on our practices and culture. Sharaf Foundation commits to undertaking an organizational gender self-assessment to learn from our ongoing gender integration work and to identify opportunities for improvement. Our dedicated staff will use these insights to identify actions to be taken and ongoing mechanisms needed for monitoring progress.